Ravens To Evaluate Cundiff This Week

Kicker Billy Cundiff said his calf injury is not 100 percent.

Posted by Garrett Downing on Monday, December 19th, 2011 at 4:57 pm | Categories: Garrett Downing, Week 15 vs Chargers

Billy Cundiff’s encore to last year’s Pro Bowl season has been disappointing.

The Ravens kicker has struggled with missed field goals and is currently battling a left calf injury that nearly held him out of the Ravens’ last two games. 

On Monday, Ravens Head Coach John Harbaugh said the team is going to evaluate Cundiff’s progression throughout the week and determine whether he will play Saturday against the Browns.

“We’re going to look at that really hard this week and try to make a good decision that way,” Harbaugh said. “He hasn’t been able to practice the last couple weeks, and that may have affected him a little bit. Nobody is more frustrated right now than Billy.”

Cundiff has practiced just once in the last two weeks, and nearly had to sit out Sunday night against the Chargers.

“There was still an outside chance that I wasn’t going to play,” Cundiff told reporters after Sunday’s game. “It’s certainly not 100 percent, so I’m just trying to figure out what’s the best thing to do and how to make sure I’m capable of playing at a high level.”

Cundiff missed a 36-yard attempt in Sunday’s 34-14 loss to the Chargers, which kept the Ravens from putting points on the board on their opening drive.  It was his ninth miss of the season, which have all come on the road.

“I’m not going to make any excuses,” Cundiff said. “My job is to go out there and kick and make my kicks, and heading into this game I felt like I was in a position to perform at the level necessary to play, and I didn’t do it.”

Cundiff’s miss on Sunday was just the second time this season that he has missed a field goal from inside 40 yards. The other time came in Cleveland in Week 14, when the wind and rain were a clear factor.

All of his other missed attempts have come from over 50 yards, and they have all been on the road.

“I don’t think my approach is any different on the road,” Cundiff said. “This has been a learning experience this year. I felt like, unfortunately, I’ve learned a lot of hard lessons.”

Cundiff injured his leg in the week leading up to the Indianapolis game, and was held out of practice the final two days of that week. He did not practice at all last week.

Cundiff was in on field goals and kickoffs against San Diego, and was still able to get touchbacks on two of his three kickoffs. Against Indianapolis, his leg tightened up in the second half and punter Sam Koch took over the kickoff duties.

Heading into the Indianapolis game, Harbaugh said that the Ravens would have a “backup plan” if Cundiff was unable to play. Reports indicated that the Ravens have looked at signing another kicker in the event that Cundiff has to miss any games.

If he is able to play Saturday against Cleveland, the Ravens will look to get him back on track after he has missed three of his last five field-goal attempts. 

“It’s been frustrating dealing with my leg, that’s pretty obvious,” Cundiff said. “Still, my confidence doesn’t waiver. It’s just one of those things that, I just have to make kicks. It’s just that simple.”


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